ALSO READ: Asu Mare: Los Amigos launches a trailer without Ricardo Mendoza. Why won’t the comedian return to the saga?
“I had prepared this part of my career for a long time without realizing it; Well, when I was doing soap operas, I loved getting on the mixer to see the director turn off the cameras. In the theater I also liked to see what directing is like and for the past 10 years I have co-directed all the “Asu Mare” films. I discovered that I really like the post-production, the sound editing, the musicalization… all those things that sometimes aren’t appreciated that much when you’re watching a film,” Alcántara points out.Carlos Alcántara reveals untold facts about Asu Mare 4, a film in which he makes his directorial debut, in an exclusive interview.
The shooting of “Asu mare! Los Amigos began on September 12, 2022 and ended on October 9 of the same year. The nationwide premiere is planned for February 9, 2023.
The spin-off of the film trilogy Asu Mare! revolves around Cachín’s friends. After overcoming various obstacles, an heir will put “El Culi” (Andrés Salas), “Lechuga” (Franco Cabrera), “Poroto” (Emilram Cossío) and “El Chato” (Miguel Vergara) to the test. It will confront them with funny situations and dark characters.
El Chato (Miguel Vergara), Bean (Emilram Cossío), Lechuga (Franco Cabrera) and El Culi (Andrés Salas); Protagonists of “Asu Mare! The Friends”. (Photo: Tondero)
“All Asu Mare movies are recreations of my life, they are not exactly my story. “El Culi” exists, he’s my best friend, but life has taken us down different paths, unfortunately we haven’t seen each other for a long time,” comments the national artist.
─How about the experience of directing for the first time?
Now that we’re almost in the final processes, I understand why there are so many crazy directors, because you have to be a bit crazy to be responsible for so many people and so often. Sometimes I had to direct from home and involve my family.
Carlos Alcántara in his role as director of “Asu mare! Los amigos”. (Photo: Tondero)
─Is it true that you now have more passion for directing than for acting?
In fact, we always like a new toy more. As a director, I feel like I have everything under control and my creativity never stops. But as an actor I’m having a good time, I’m happy, I’ve been acting for 36 years and I want to do more things outside, share, learn and get more experience.
─How did you prepare to embrace this new facet?
For the past two years, I’ve been watching tutorials by famous directors on YouTube, such as the Mexicans Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and González Iñárritu. I have fed on their experiences and the recommendations they share on networks. I have also seen films. And not only am I learning how to navigate it technically or by reading, I have the experience. I put together a little bit of everything and tried to achieve a cool, fun product without getting blown away by a complicated director. What I did was trust the minds and give in to every suggestion but always stay firmly with my personal flight. The director has to be consistent with what he wants to tell. When everyone starts pitching in, it becomes a hybrid thing. This film will get a very personal stamp.
─Was that the right time to direct?
For me if. I won’t go into the details of why I’m taking the direction. I enjoyed this phase, I put a lot of love into it and I’m sure that will show in the film.
─Apart from directing, will you also act?
I’m not physically there, but while it sounds contradictory, it’s the Asu Mare film that I’m most present in. If you see the film, you’ll even listen to me because, in addition to directing, I also enjoy making voices and sounds… This is my other Vacilón.
Carlos Alcántara in his role as director of “Asu mare! Los amigos”. (Photo: Tondero)
─There are those who still hope to see you in the film.
There’s a surprise there. And to those who at some point thought I would be there, I respectfully apologize. I had to do a scene, but I realized that acting and directing at the same time was impossible. I made the decision not to act with great humility. Also, I’m not young anymore, my face can’t bear to play a 30-year-old. When I saw myself on screen, I looked like the father of “El Culi” (Laughter).
─If the “Asu Mare” trilogy with Cachín as the protagonist worked very well, why not continue on this path?
My friends have been my support in all three films. And while directing, I went back to the memory, to the phase of my childhood in which we played happily, freely, despite the shortcomings. And it is precisely this freedom that I want to show in this new part.
─Why isn’t Ricardo Mendoza in the film?
I don’t want to go into detail because it’s a sensitive subject. We did not reach an agreement when it should have been, a long time has passed and we have achieved nothing. I can’t tell you the details, all I can say is that there are no victims, although it appears he was the victim. In any case, they will have to ask him why he is not in the film. This is a team and if a player doesn’t want to sign a contract because they have other suggestions, they don’t like it or they don’t like it, they go to another team.
─How did Emilram Cossío come in?
The film had to be made, so a casting was done and finally Emilram was chosen, a super actor who was a perfect fit for the team of friends, a machine for creating humor and funny situations.
─ Will the female characters from previous seasons like Anahí de Cárdenas, Emilia Drago or Denisse Dibós appear in this sequel?
They’re not there, but we had to find the female characters in this story, so we did a casting and we got two actresses who were a great discovery: Fiorella Luna and Ximena Palomino.
─Susel Paredes has also been announced as part of the cast. She hadn’t played for 30 years. Did it cost you to convince her?
Very few people know that Susel studied acting at the Católica, did theatre, was at “Patacláun in der Stadt” and went out singing. There is a song my son Lorenzo loves, he listens to it every day. One part reads like this: “I brought my tamales from the hacienda for sale, but the municipal ones were running around, listen. You have to show your bum if you want to work.” Ironically, that’s what Susel said 30 years ago, and that’s what he’s been doing lately: chasing the informal, creating order. And her participation in the film has to do with that, she’s very funny. They called her from production, I didn’t call her. He always had the courage and the willingness to participate. I was happy she brought her own clothes. It was very cool.
─How did Josi Martínez get into film?
I met him in The Year of the Tiger, he seemed like a cool guy, funny, popular and very popular. In Santo Domingo everyone greeted him and not even the cat recognized me. He’s a star, he has 24 million followers. He has a small role in the film, but he did a great job.
─Aside from directing, did you also write the screenplays?
This story was written by Rasec Barragán, Renato Fernández and Marco Rubina. I restructured some things, added others, and created text based on my experiences with the story. I’m not a writer, but I wrote more on this film than any other.
Do you plan to continue directing?
I liked it a lot, the virus bit me, I’ll try to keep up with my acting career.
─ Will the next film you direct be about your life story?
I don’t intend to write anything autobiographical anymore, I wouldn’t use my story anymore.
─ Do you have any suggestions for performing this year?
I have three suggestions. One is to star in an adventure film about treasures, natural settings, under the sea in the Dominican Republic. I’ll also be in Mischief of the Bad Girl, the series based on the book by Mario Vargas Llosa, and there’s work to be done in Chile, but that’s yet to be specified. In addition, the film “The Year of the Tiger” will be released on March 30th and “La casa del snail” in the middle of this year.
─Has “Asu Mare” changed your life?
My career, my story, my wife Pataclaun have changed my life; but most of all my mother, my family, my neighborhood and my desire not to sit still.
─Do you consider yourself a successful artist at this stage in your career?
Yes, and I have to say it in all his words, because I’ve done some things that have been powerful and successful at the audience level, at the box office, and I can name them. I’ve been an actor for 35 years and nothing has been easy for me. At first the doors I knocked on didn’t open for me, I returned home frustrated because they wouldn’t even accept me as an extra. Imagine if I had broken down if I hadn’t kept going. Being stubborn I kept going and here I am, venturing into new facets.